History

At the end of WW2 many people were forced from their homeland and found themselves at the dilemma of what to do next. Those who survived on many fronts and had spent several tragic years in German and Russian concentration camps, decided to immigrate into countries far and free from wars. At the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties around 8,000 Polish people immigrated to Australia, most of them into SA. The Polish Community realised that they needed a centre for their own entertainment and social contact, and so held meetings to discuss this topic. 

The first meetings for such an organisation took place in the rooms of St. Francis Cathedral. As the need for hiring the rooms increased and on the initiation of Father Myszkowski, the members of the Polish Association understood that it was time to build Dom Polski, a place where Polish people could come to. Plans on this building surfaced in 1952 and 1957 but it was only later in 1959 that it was possible to establish the Building Committee of Dom Polski.

Its members: Mr.E.G.Hejka (the chairman), Mr. J.Rakowski (vice-chairman), Father Rutkowski and his replacement Mr. T.Zakroczynski, worked very hard in preparation of the Society’s Rules. These rules were accepted at the General Meeting of the Polish Association on 21st January 1959 and a new management committee was elected according to the Rules. Its members: Mr. E.G.Hejka (chairman), Mr. A.Kokar (secretary), Mr. A.Jamrozik (replacement secretary), Mr. M.Furtak, Mr. J.Rakowski, Mr. J.Kedzior, Mr. T.Zakroczynski, Mr. Z.Piesiewicz and Mr. Z.Kraszewski achieved the stage of registration of the Dom Polski Society Limited on the 15th July, 1959. Two years later on the 18th September, 1961 the future Dom Polski management collected enough money to cover 10% of the property purchase value at 519 Torrens Road Woodville, SA. 

Mr. J. Zapala, Mr. E.G. Hejka, Mr. A. Jamrozik and Mr. J. Rakowski had given personal financial guarantees required for the 10 year loan. Many people volunteered in the fixing, building and running of the premises which had the maximum capacity to house 190 people. The house in Woodville was very busy for more than 10 years and due to its popularity was sometimes unable to accommodate everyone. During this successful term, the Committee members at the time were Mr. T.Gorzelak, Mr. B.Ciesielski, Mr. S.Marko, Mr. S.Konopka and Mr. S.Gotowicz, the loan was repaid.

The Dom Polski in Woodville became increasingly popular, so the management on behalf of the shareholders in March 1972 made plans for a larger venue. The property purchased at 232 Angas Street, Adelaide had became known as the “Dom Polski Centre”. Its construction began on the 23 October, 1972 and the foundation stone was laid by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, William Hubert Hayes Esq. on the 29th December, 1972, assisted by E.G.Hejka Esq.. The building was officially opened on the 8th of December 1973.

The market for shares had dropped unexpectedly and so did the revenue of Dom Polski at Woodville. As the management had more difficulties in repaying the loan for the Angas Street premises, they decided to sell the property at Woodville and save it from overdraft. The original establishment was sold on the 15th July 1980.

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